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01-03-2012, 05:41 AM   #16
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DA 17-70 f/4 vs DA 18-135mm f/3.5~5.6 comparison at 70mm at f/5.6. Both lenses focused by Live View with the K-5 on "Tiger"
As can be seen, the DA 18-135mm is definitely sharper in the center. No sharpening or cropping done.

DA 17-70mm


DA 18-135mm



Last edited by creampuff; 01-03-2012 at 05:50 AM.
01-03-2012, 06:03 AM   #17
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Live View delivers!

The FA 135mm f/2.8 is a terrific lens.
Nice colors, nice bokeh, very fast focusing and compact in size but like old lenses, it only just gets a passing grade when using the camera's AF to focus. With Live View, focus is tack sharp. One observation I notice is the AF sharpness is a little better with the newer series of AF lenses, which leads me to conclude that old lenses like this one (the FA 135mm was produced from 1991 to 2000 according to Bojidar Dimitrov's site) are getting long in the tooth and are seriously in need of a replacement. Have to agree with Frank's earlier assessment.

AF


Live View

Last edited by creampuff; 01-03-2012 at 06:23 AM.
01-03-2012, 06:06 AM   #18
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PF!

Typical of FA series lenses, colors are punchy but purple fringing can rear it's head in high contrast situations where the subject has specular highlights. Apart from this issue aside, this lens is a gem.


K-5 FA 135mm f/2.8 wide open
01-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #19
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Great report creampuff! Just tried the same test with my K5 in low light with Sigma 50mm EX DG HSM f1.4 and achieved the same result. Might it be due to the type of AF used in Live view (Contrast or Phase difference)?

BTW I was in Singapore a number of years ago and had my fair share of the Tiger beer... Wonderful stuff!!!


Last edited by fccwpe; 01-04-2012 at 08:18 AM. Reason: added BTW
01-04-2012, 10:40 AM   #20
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From some fast lenses...

The DA* 55mm f/1.4 SDM was used wide open. Lighting was partially backlit but the lens still managed to retain good background separation without highlight blooming.
BTW this gent is one of the best and most experienced Pentax bird photographers around. He's photographed hundreds of bird species in and around Singapore.



The image below exemplifies the terrific reputation of the Sigma 30mm f/1.4.
This shot of my friend at maximum aperture reveals nice foreground & background separation, highlight bokeh and most importantly, the incredible sharpness it can deliver even at f/1.4.
A great lens for street shooting because it can put your subject in the context of their surroundings yet stand out nicely by controlling the degree of background blur.



With the FA 77mm f/1.8 Limited on the camera, just pointing to a face and squeezing the shutter button delivers nice headshots straight out of the camera.
The first shot of the young lady at f/2 is why I consider it so much better than the DA 70mm Limited... the ability to throw the busy background into a painterly work of art.
Fine as the DA 70mm Limited is, to me it just doesn't render backgrounds OOF enough imo.



Who says shooting at f/1.8 don't give sharp pictures? Using my friend as a subject again, a good copy (mine is MIV) will reveal pores and all.
This was shot with the camera's AF. Shoot with Live View and the results are even better.


Last edited by creampuff; 01-05-2012 at 03:52 PM.
01-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #21
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Excellent report and write-up (guess I'm going to have to use LV more) !

I bought the 77 Ltd a week or so ago and although I already have the Zeiss 85/1.4 I'm finding the 77 an awesome lens !!
01-04-2012, 12:36 PM   #22
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FA77 for me is the best ltd lens
01-04-2012, 02:27 PM   #23
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Great examples once again creampuff!


Last edited by TOUGEFC; 01-04-2012 at 02:36 PM.
01-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #24
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Nice observations. However, in regards of #1, I have to share an experience.

I am one of those who have had problems with sensor stains in the K-5. I had various K-5 and as stains developped, most of the times the camera was swapped but once, the sensor was swapped. I was a bit concerned about sensor swapping as I feared a service center would not be able to position and calibrate the sensor as precisely as the factory chain. I called the service center and we talked quite a bit and I was explained that the sensors are in general positioned well enough within the factory acceptable tolerances, but as precisely as when done by hand in a service center where they pay attention to have the path from the mirror to the sensor of precisely the same length as from the mirror to the AF sensors.

I was sceptical but what could I do? Well, the camera I have got back from the service was my best focusing DSLR ever. I was not able to see any difference between traditional AF and live view AF.

Unfortunately, that sensor developped stains as well and the camera was replaced.

Last edited by tcom; 01-04-2012 at 02:56 PM.
01-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #25
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So in essence, in the factory, the machines putting everything together have a certain tolerance, while the poor repair guy stuck with making sure he doesn't ruin anything while replacing the sensor has to make sure he gets it perfect because he can't confine himself to tolerances like a computer can...

...when I get my k-5, I am finding me one of these techs!
01-04-2012, 10:46 PM   #26
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On #1: Does that observation still hold in low light conditions?
01-04-2012, 10:55 PM   #27
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Awww.... sucks I had to miss the outing..... (my son picked up a terrible sore throat at the babysitters and gave me and my wife hell through the night; but he was a smiles in the day... )


Nice observations Dennis.

I do think K5 AF algo needs future improvement or at least the user needs to spend some time to calibrate each lens to the camera.
Its the only camera I've had so far that needs AF adjustments on most lenses compared to the K100D and K7 before it.
I've found body to lens match and calibration was needed between my K5 and my brother's for many lenses.
My FA135 was particularly problematic as well. It was tack sharp on my K7, but was way out even with a +10 bias on the K5.
Sent the K5 for calibration and its now alright with the FA135.

So when swapping lenses between ppl, I'd certainly think CDAF with LV is more accurate than uncalibrated AF using PDAF.



QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Nice observations, buddy. I can't do half as good if it's me to do the writeup

Personally I use my Pany G3 a lot more often than K5 nowadays due to its much smaller size and and lighter weight, IQ is more than enough for family photos and walkabout, AF speed/accuracy under low light beats Pentax hands down, as fast if not faster in good light. Hope Pentax will release something similar (small and good) this year.

As to old lenses like FA135/2.8, I've told quite a few guys already, go for modern lenses if can, especially AF lenses. Some (or many) old AF lenses don't work as well as they used to be when they are still fresh, it's kinda gamble to buy an old AF lens which happens to be a good copy. JMHO.

AF or MF with liveview beats through OF easily. If Pentax releases a mirrorless camera w/ similar features as K5, which I think they will, I'm sure a lot guys would enjoy using MF lenses even more. By then, my G3 probably will be gone.

BTW, if any of you guys happens to pass by Singapore, please let us know. We'd be glad to rearrange our monthly outing so you'd be able to see some happy Pentax fans here
Indeed, a K5 performance MILC would be the solution to ease of MF and AF calibration issues for me.
01-05-2012, 03:39 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
On #1: Does that observation still hold in low light conditions?
Why don't you try testing it yourself? The sharpness comparison between using normal AF and using Live View can done by everyone whose camera has Live View. Just pick a subject or target and shoot, then compare the difference. I'm pretty sure many Pentax users don't use LV often enough but if they did, the difference is noticeable especially when the image is magnified on the rear LCD.

Last edited by creampuff; 01-05-2012 at 03:48 PM.
01-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Awww.... sucks I had to miss the outing..... (my son picked up a terrible sore throat at the babysitters and gave me and my wife hell through the night; but he was a smiles in the day... )


Nice observations Dennis.

I do think K5 AF algo needs future improvement or at least the user needs to spend some time to calibrate each lens to the camera.
Its the only camera I've had so far that needs AF adjustments on most lenses compared to the K100D and K7 before it.
I've found body to lens match and calibration was needed between my K5 and my brother's for many lenses.
My FA135 was particularly problematic as well. It was tack sharp on my K7, but was way out even with a +10 bias on the K5.
Sent the K5 for calibration and its now alright with the FA135.

So when swapping lenses between ppl, I'd certainly think CDAF with LV is more accurate than uncalibrated AF using PDAF.

Indeed, a K5 performance MILC would be the solution to ease of MF and AF calibration issues for me.
Sorry you couldn't join us that day. My experience with focus accuracy pretty much mirrors yours. I remember my FA 135mm was stunningly sharp on my K20D and K-7 but was just passable on my K-5 prior to AF adjustment. Even then, shots taken with LV with this lens pips convention AF in terms of absolute sharpness.
01-05-2012, 10:39 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Why don't you try testing it yourself?
Because I am interested in the observations of a larger group of users and also because I don't use AF myself, so it's not really fun for me to set up an AF test.
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